Brussels, Belgium is well known as the political capitol of Europe. The European Council, European Parliament, Council of the European Union, and many more institutions of international importance, such as NATO, are headquartered in the city.
If you are moving to Brussels, Belgium, there are many things you should know about the process. Read on to learn more.
Must I pay taxes to import my household goods to Brussels?
Usually not. Your household goods and personal effects can be imported to Belgium duty free within 12 months of your arrival in the country. There are requirements that must be met for your imports to be duty free. You must have owned and used the goods being imported for at least six months prior to your move, and you must move your goods into Belgium within 12 months of your arrival.
If you are moving your belongings yourself, you will need to contact the Belgian Consulate in your home country to get a certificate confirming your transfer. If you hire a company to move you, you will need to get a signed and stamped declaration from your employer in Belgium. Be prepared to show customs officials a Certificate of Residence to avoid having to pay substantial taxes.
- Valid passport
- Residence permit or work permit
- Proof of your residency outside of the country of Belgium for at least a year
- Bill of lading/air waybill
- Comprehensive valued inventory
- Detailed packing list
- Power of Attorney (to give the customs agent authority to arrange customs clearance)
- Certificate of Residence (obtained from officials in Belgium)
- Certificate of Residence Cancellation (obtained from your home country)
How can I import my vehicle to Brussels?
You are welcome to import your vehicle to Belgium, provided that you do so within six months of becoming a resident. This part is really important. If you procrastinate and try to handle the paperwork for importing your vehicle after you have been in the country for six months or longer, you may face fines and penalties.
There are a number of steps to the import process, so working with a professional will be your best bet. If you feel confident you can handle it on your own, read on for a quick explainer.
The first thing you must do to import your vehicle to Belgium is contact the local Douane, or customs officials. You will need to provide the Douane with some documentation, including your car registration, proof of your application for car insurance (this document is called an Aanvraag aan Verzekering), and finally, proof that you are a registered Belgian resident (aka the Bewijs van Inschriving).
Presenting these documents to the local Douane will earn you the coveted ‘pink form’ that will help you avoid import charges for your vehicle. Well done, but not done yet. Next you will need to obtain two more documents.
Certificate of Conformity – You will need to visit the nearest dealer for your type of vehicle that you can find. The dealer will need to certify that your vehicle meets and conforms to standards. This process can take a lot of time as a dealer for your particular vehicle may be hard to find. Be prepared for delays and make extra copies of all documents in case they get lost in the shuffle.
Certificate of Roadworthiness – You will also need to visit a local Belgian keuring (no, not kuerig, that’s the coffeemaker) center to receive a certificate of roadworthiness (locally known as a keuringsbewijs). This process can be a bit like going to any other government agency. You will likely need to wait in line for your certificate. Make sure to set aside half a day at least.
Once you have all these steps completed, your ‘pink form’ will be stamped, which you send in to receive your registration plate. You will receive one plate to mount on the back of your vehicle, and your garage can create a duplicate for the front.
What’s the Easiest Way to Move to Brussels?
Hire a professional. Working with a professional shipping company can help you avoid costly mistakes when importing your belongings. Import disasters can take many forms: you could be stuck paying exorbitant taxes to keep something you could have left at home or run the risk of having it be destroyed or sent back at your expense.
You don’t have to go it alone. At A-1 Auto Transport, our shipping experts specialize in international import rules, setting you up for success. Call us today for your free, no-obligation shipping quote.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.
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